US, Russia to resume arms control talks
US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday agreed at their first summit to resume arms control talks and to return ambassadors to each other's capitals after they were withdrawn earlier this year.
The summit at the lakeside Villa La Grange in Geneva lasted less than four hours - far less than Biden's advisers had said they expected.
The scheduling of separate news conferences meant there was none of the joviality that accompanied a 2018 meeting between Putin and Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump. There was also no joint meal.
Putin, 68, who was first to brief reporters, said the meeting had been constructive, without hostility.
He also said Russia and the United States shared a responsibility for nuclear stability, and would hold talks on possible changes to their recently extended New START arms limitation treaty.
But he showed little appetite for compromise on a range of other issues, dismissing Washington's concerns about the arrest of opposition figurehead Alexei Navalny, about Russia's increased military presence near Ukraine's eastern border, and about US suggestions that unidentified Russians are responsible for a series of cyber-attacks in the United States.
The Kremlin leader said Washington and Moscow would start consultations on cybersecurity, adding that most cyber-attacks on Russia came from the United States.
Arms control is, however, one domain where progress has historically been possible despite wider disagreements. In February, Russia and the US extended for five years the New START treaty, which caps the number of strategic nuclear warheads they can deploy and limits the land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers to deliver them.
The talks were also attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.